Biotech Updates

GM Dialogue for Chinese Scientists and the Public Concluded

December 23, 2010

A roundtable dialogue on GM crops participated by scientist and the general public was held during the Communication Dialogue of Agribiotech Symposium in October at the Huazhong Agricultural University in October. The aim of the dialogue was to address the issues on GM crops.

One of the delegates shared his concern that was rooted from a U.S. television programme that talked about a child who died after eating food with GM maize. Another participant mentioned about a Chinese news story which reported that Yuan Longping, known as the ‘father of hybrid rice' in China, said that GM rice could be harmful to health.

Chinese National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety reasercher Yang Xiaoguang, said mentioned that "such media reports were partly to blame for the public's fears." While scientist Zhu Zhen from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that if the television programme's conclusions were true, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could have banned GM crops.

Jia Hepeng, organizer of the symposium and editor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' (CAS) bi-weekly magazine Science News, plans to promote more dialogues on GM among scientists, media, and the public.